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Trigger Warning! Cis African American Men and Trans Women of Color

Discussion in 'Transgender' started by Most Bald, Oct 9, 2019.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Most Bald
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    Most Bald Thinking of a more humane human world.
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    Good morning! Where are we holding the uncomfortable conversations about culture, segregation, a lack of familiarity, and how ignorance contributes to dehumanizing and violence? Are there individuals or organizations facilitating conversations with a broad base of community stakeholders about these issues?

    Thanks.

    - Most Bald

    P.S. It has been challenging to find an organization, in NYC with whom to broach this type of discussion. I believe that we are overdue for a sit-down to foster understanding, empathy, and build a sense of shared humanity. I would participate. I suspect others would, as well.
     
    #1 Most Bald, Oct 9, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  2. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    Its a hard topic to cover but extremely nessicary. There is a huge divide between the African American community and the African American LGBT community. The hard fact is I'm a member of both and from my experience, the divide comes from a mix of toxic masculinity and religious beliefs nailing in the belief that me being who I am is a sin. I would be happy to have this conversation with both sides

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  3. Most Bald
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    Here, here! Thank you for participating in the discussion, RavenRosemary!

    It’s not just toxic masculinity. I recently spoke with a female friend (a woman of African American & Caribbean descent) who recently witnessed my work with a trans woman client. As soon as she was able to semi-discreetly do so, she called me to declare that my client is not a woman and that HE is mentally ill.

    Has she been influenced by toxic masculinity? Perhaps. Past and present religious influences are absolutely contribute to her perspective. It doesn’t help that she has no interest and no exposure to many people with diverse perspectives. She is also a very attractive, dark-skinned woman who is frequently subject to bias and sexualization the corporate American circles she circulates in.

    Even though, she should know better - no one discriminates as deeply as though who has been steeped in marginalized communities, especially where bias is backed by religion. Some embrace the habits of oppressors, frequently.

    Some of the richest, most engaging relationships I’ve had are with people who have very different experiences than my own. It’s easy to fall into complacency, but if we’re interest, we can not only be mindful of the problems that are inherent with segregation, but we can build communities where diversity is genuinely appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Most Bald
     
    #3 Most Bald, Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  4. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    I agree with you 100%. When I was a child I didn't even know that being transgender was an option I could pursue and I also grew up in a black neighborhood. Being gay was an insult and I didn't hear of trans until high school so someone like me was basically an outcast with no outlet to express what was going through my mind. Lots of different factors can influence the behavior much like mental health care. Mainstream media is a whole other topic to get into

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  5. Most Bald
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    Raven Rosemary,

    Uninformed, frightened, and narrow-minded people make life more unpleasant and challenging than it needs to be for many of us. We spend a lot of time dealing with the fallout from all of our various types of segregation, unfortunately.

    Do you have friends or others in your life that feel as you do?

    Thanks.
    Most Bald
     
  6. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    I have a plethora of friends who support me, some are LGBT as well. But family is a different story. There is an age factor as well when you mention cultural divide in the black community. Almost like the older you are, the more set in your ways you are dug in. I love my family but my test run of coming out to them was unsuccessful

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  7. Most Bald
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    Most Bald Thinking of a more humane human world.
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    Raven Rosemary,

    I’m glad that you have supportive friends. I’m sure that makes a huge difference in your life.

    How has it been for you to have discussions with straight black male about your experiences? Thanks.

    Most Bald
     
  8. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    Its going to take more than a conversation if you want to convince the men to acknowledge transgender people as ordinary people and not freaks or sinners. Men portray themselves as tough and thick skinned. If you were born male then that's the way you always will be. My father didn't take the conversation well either. Like he didn't believe me or gives me examples of people who regret their transition. He definitely uses church as a tool to change my mind.

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  9. Thespis
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    Thespis Blithe Spirit
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    I'm really sorry to hear that, Rosemary. :( 
     
  10. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    Thank you for the support. Unfortunately I have to stay incognito at home and work, but I don't get dysphoric about it so that's a plus. I'm glad you read this because getting stories out is the best way to change minds and hopefully laws too

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  11. Most Bald
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    Raven Rosemary,

    I’ve always been a straight man. When I was a teen, my friends and I would head into the East and West Village (New York City) just to walk around and BS...

    I had no thoughts about trans or gender non-conforming people, one way or the other. The only thing that I knew about gay men was that they may have sex with other guys, but since that wasn’t what I was interested in, I didn’t care. Back then, there were constant media messages about ”the gay community” and HIV/AIDS, but again, not my business AND I didn’t have any friends who self-identified as being ”in the life.”. I was totally under socialized in this regard until I got tight with some of my clients. That’s where my education began.

    It would have been interesting if someone would have sat me down and taken the time to clue me in. I’m sure that some of the glammed-up folks I encountered on the streets we're drag queens (some straight, but dressed up for whatever reason), others might have been trans, but I wasn’t giving it a whole lot of thought.

    I absolutely though that some of the folks I passed were bizarre, but from my completely ignorant and under-socialized vantage point - bizarre was very accurate. Diversity in gender expression doesn’t seem anywhere near so odd, today, but there are moments that I wonder about why and how folks do all sorts of things with clothing.

    I don’t understand why so many of us have latched onto and maintain the 18th century custom of wearing suits. Even when I am required to wear one, I think they are ridiculous. I have similar commentary about other trends, some within the black community, as well.

    That’s my $0.02.

    Most Bald

    P.S. - Familiarity might help address people thinking that ”different=weird.” With regard to religion, trust me - it’s best that I keep my perspective to myself.
     
  12. Most Bald
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    I would be remiss, if I didn’t ask you the obvious question...

    What would you recommend? Let’s get to work.

    Most Bald
     
  13. RavenRosemary

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    It would have to be something that can grab everyone's attention. Sports is usually something everyone can notice. It would have to be something like what catlin Jenner did but bigger. (This is a wild fantasy) could you imagine if a wnba player transitioned and was drafted to the NBA? I'd buy his shoes.

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  14. Most Bald
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    Hey RavenRosemary,

    I want to share something with you. Please let me know what you think.

    https://www.edutopia.org/article/building-community-restorative-circles

    In the article, they discuss studentsbandbaschool setting, but it could easily be what we’ve been discussing, with the involvement of church members, folk from a LGBTQ+ community center, neighbors, friends, family, etc. Circles are used to address family issues, neighbor disputes, murder, and facilitate conversations of all kinds.
     
  15. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    I can imagine this taking place at a rec center or library an being very insightful. Bringing in religious leaders, government office holders and enough people from both sides and it would be a small town hall format

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  16. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    If you can convince the mayor or governor to fund it, you could make it a BBQ lunch. Food is a sure way to get people to come. Once they're in the door, the rest should fall in place

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  17. Most Bald
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    Most Bald Thinking of a more humane human world.
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    That which we imagine, can become reality!

    Are there community stakeholders you’d like to invite to a circle?

    Most Bald
     
  18. Most Bald
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    While restorative justice practitioners may have light snacks at circles, it wouldn’t be something as involved as a BBQ. We gather with intention; mainly for the conversation that takes place in the circle. If their are a lot of people who want to participate, it can be convened on multiple days, with representatives of stakeholder groups. I’ve never conducted a circle of more than 20+ people. I’m sure others have, but it could get unwieldy if it’s not well-managed.

    Most Bald
     
  19. RavenRosemary

    RavenRosemary Greenhorn
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    I do agree with you here, however, the main objective isnt focused on the lawmakers but the constituents who vote for them. The food is there not as a primary purpose but a symbol that we are all family. I would even argue that as a good starting topic point "we're all human and love to eat"

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